What You Should Know About This Degree
Computer literacy is an essential skill these days, but earning a degree in computer science requires a range of abilities beyond general computing knowledge. Coursework relies heavily on understanding mathematics, technology, and coding language as well as having strong analytical, problem-solving, and concentration skills. It’s important to determine if you have the right aptitudes and temperament for this complex area of study.
A bachelor’s degree makes you eligible for most jobs in the computer science field, although some positions require the advanced knowledge of a master’s degree. You may want to factor in this additional education when deciding if this is the right degree for you. Because of the specialized nature of this field, most master’s programs want students who already have a degree or prerequisite coursework in computer science.
If you’re looking to work with computers and information technology in a particular sector like finance, biology, or management, having educational experience in that area as well may be beneficial. At the undergraduate level, you can take a concentration, minor, or second major; at the graduate level, you may want to consider an MBA instead of an MS. Consider what your ultimate career goals are and if a bachelor’s or master’s degree in computer science is the correct step to get you there.
Ask these questions when selecting an online computer science degree:
- Do I need a Bachelor’s in computer science to be eligible for this master’s program? Because of the highly specialized nature of this field, most computer science master’s programs expect applicants to have a bachelor’s degree or at least prior coursework in computer science. Make sure you meet eligibility requirements for the program, or you can complete them prior to enrolling.
- Does this program have the specialization I want? Many computer science degree programs cover a range of related skills, but some offer specializations in areas like information security, software engineering, and data management and analysis. If you know you want to focus on a specific area within computer science, check to see if the program you’re exploring offers that type of specialization.
Once you’ve found the programs that interest you, research their application processes and requirements. This information is typically available on the program’s webpage; you can also contact the program directly if you have questions.
Financing your education is another important consideration. Research scholarship opportunities and financial aid deadlines. If you are currently employed, check with your employer to see if tuition remission/reimbursement benefits are available.